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Man admits to robbing Missoula's Blackjack Pizza in February
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Man admits to robbing Missoula's Blackjack Pizza in February

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A Butte man accused of robbing three businesses across Montana in February admitted to charges on Tuesday.

Thomas Scott Cockrill, 49, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery affecting commerce and to brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to a Tuesday news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. At his arraignment in May, he pleaded not guilty.

On Feb. 9, Cockrill robbed Blackjack Pizza on Brooks Street in Missoula using a firearm. He then traveled to Helena and robbed a La Quinta Inn and Suites there. A few days later on Feb. 13 he robbed a dispensary in Butte, according to court documents. In all three incidents, he brandished a handgun at employees working at the businesses.

Each business lost several hundred dollars as a result of the robberies, the release said.

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Cockrill faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the most serious crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, Helena Police Department, Missoula Police Department, Butte Silverbow Law Enforcement and Montana Probation and Parole.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 10.

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